USDA Invests $4.4 Million in Rural Broadband Infrastructure in Georgia County

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USDA Invests $4.4 Million in Rural Broadband Infrastructure in Georgia County

The solution area includes 2,159 households, 25 pre-subscribed organizations, two critical community facilities, an academic center and 24 pre-subscribed farms, including 22 chicken farms

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural developing Georgia State Director Joyce White announced a $4.4 million investment in high-speed broadband infrastructure. This investment will offer the construction of 90 kilometers of fiber-optic infrastructure in Gilmer County. The solution area includes 2,159 households, 25 pre-subscribed companies, two community that is critical, an academic center and 24 pre-subscribed farms, including 22 chicken farms. This broadband investment shall fortify the chicken industry in north Georgia. This will be one of several funding announcements when you look at the very first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot system investments.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Ellijay Telephone business to grow broadband access,” White stated. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has made deploying this critical infrastructure across rural America a high concern, because we understand when rural America flourishes, every one of America flourishes.”

The Ellijay Telephone Company (ETC), started in 1903, is a technology frontrunner in Gilmer, Fannin, Cherokee and Pickens counties in north Georgia. It includes cable tv, phone, safety solutions and broadband solutions for company, commercial and subscribers that are residential.


In March 2018, Congress offered $600 million to USDA to grow broadband infrastructure and solutions in rural America. On Dec. 13, 2018, Secretary Perdue announced the guidelines of this scheduled program, called “ReConnect,” including exactly exactly how a loans and funds will likely be granted to greatly help build broadband infrastructure in rural America. USDA received 146 applications between might 31, 2019, and July 12, 2019, requesting $1.4 billion in financing across all three ReConnect Program capital items: 100 % loan, 100 % grant, and loan-grant combinations. USDA is reviewing applications and announcing authorized jobs on a basis that is rolling. Extra opportunities in every three groups may be built in the coming months.

These funds, loans and combination funds allow the authorities to partner because of the personal sector and rural communities to create contemporary broadband infrastructure in areas with inadequate websites. Insufficient service is described as connection rates of not as much as 10 megabits per second (Mbps) down load and 1 Mbps upload.

In 2019, Agriculture Secretary Perdue announced USDA will be making available an additional $550 million in ReConnect funding in 2020 december. USDA is going to make available as much as $200 million for grants, as much as $200 million for 50/50 grant/loan combinations, or over to $200 million for low-interest loans. The applying screen with this round of capital shall open Jan. 31, 2020. Applications for many money services and products are going to be accepted within the exact same application screen, that will shut on March 16, 2020.

To help possible providers with regards to applications, USDA is hosting technical assistance webinars and workshops around the world. To see an updated variety of times and areas, or even register to go to, visit

A full description of 2020 ReConnect Pilot Program funding can be obtained on web page 67913 of this Dec. 12, 2019, Federal Register (PDF, 336 KB). To find out more about eligibility, technical help and present notices, visit

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to spot legislative, regulatory and policy modifications which could market farming and success in rural communities. In 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump january. These findings included 31 tips to align the government that is federal state, regional and tribal governments to make the most of possibilities which exist in rural America. Increasing opportunities in rural infrastructure is just a recommendation that is key of task force.

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